A summer at Grain

For the last three months, I have been interning here at Grain Sustainability. I applied for this internship in the second year of my Arts and Sciences degree at University College London (UCL), where I focus on Environmental Geography and Social Sciences, to get an insight into this field I am interested in and passionate about. Throughout my time at Grain, I was able to provide support to the consultants and learn a wide array of skills.

During these months, I carried out client work, research, and writing. For client support, I helped the consultants with background research for communication reviews and benchmarking. This taught me about Grain’s processes, which focus on having a methodological approach to each part of the strategy. Through internal tasks such as contributing to the Grain Playbook, carrying out sector-specific research and writing Thoughts for the website, I was able to conduct my own research into topics such as sustainable cities and the impact of our IT carbon footprint, to strengthen my understanding of these issues.

Another highlight of my experience was the Mental Health First Aid training we did for two days with Mental Health Charter. This training educated us about the different ways we could aid and support our peers in different scenarios. Additionally, I wrote articles and managed social media pages for Sustainable Amersham, a community-based initiative in the Chilterns focused on encouraging sustainable practices and making them accessible in local spaces. One of my biggest takeaways from this was understanding how information on sustainability needs to be adapted for different audiences and contexts.

Apart from all the things I learned, I enjoyed working in a team of experienced consultants who always shared their expertise and recommended resources for topics I was curious about. I always looked forward to our monthly, in-person work days where we visited shows like Our Time on Earth at the Barbican and had team lunches. A large part of what made my experience so enriching was how Madelyn mentored and encouraged me the whole time. This truly helped me make the most of my time here.

Overall, I am very appreciative to everyone in the team for being so welcoming and wonderful. I have gained so many new skills and knowledge, and have improved on essential writing, research, and time-management skills, and I have more clarity in how I can contribute to the transition to sustainability.

Photo, left to right: Disha Takle, Kenneth Ho, Rosie Wyatt, Mark Carlin, Amber Harrison, Madelyn Postman, Christoph Geppert

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